Poi360 project wins international prize for Best Documentary 2018

Two wāhine Māori have taken out two prizes at the Top Shorts Online Film Festival for Best Documentary and Audience Award. Lanita Ririnui and Ngatapa Black co-produced a digital project called Poi360 that showcases multiple platforms of storytelling through the poi, including an interactive site, a web series, flashcards, and a documentary.  

The concept stems from a prose Ririnui wrote for her daughter, and through the prose she used the personification of poi to write the featurette that then won the award for Best Documentary. It was from the web series about ten women who share their hopes and dreams for their daughters through the poi that the online short film was born.

"Because it was so cinematic it just lent itself to also create a featurette short film that we could send around the world and share the stories internationally so that other people could hear these stories because the kōrero that we got from these wāhine were so amazing and quite touching I feel like as a wahine and as a Māmā sometimes they're the kōrero we don't really talk about."

Through the Poi360 project, the duo has won awards at the Canadian Diversity Film Festival, Best Shorts Competition, and the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. Their next project stemming out of Poi360 is Poipoiā that will be the very first te reo Māori trilogy in 360 technology.

"It's inspired by the pros that are featured in the Poi - Hopes and Dreams kaupapa, and we've tagged something special on the end and it really is the story of a wahine from zero to kuia and the life travelled, but also poi will feature heavily in across that," Ririnui told Kawekōrero.